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Reminiscences Of A Minstrel’s Musical Journey

Reminiscences Of A Minstrel’s Musical Journey

It is not often that a Nigerian musician attempts the presentation of a book and a special music album at the same time. Apart from Charly Boy Oputa, whose book entitled ‘My Private Part’, stirred up the music scene for awhile in 2006, certainly none else had contemplated a daring subject as an autobiography.

Reminiscences Of A Minstrel’s Musical Journey

So when Chris Ajilo, a seasoned highlife musician and celebrated musicologist, suddenly rose from retirement to present his autobiography and a rare collection of his musical works on Sunday at the Lagos Airport Hotel in Ikeja, his gesture was well applauded by fellow musicians, his friends, associates and music fans from different walks of life.

At the event, which had in attendance dignitaries such as former Governor Olusegun Osoba of Ogun State, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, the guests marvelled that Ajilo could still find it convenient to publish an autobiography.

Titled ‘Reminiscences of a Nigerian Pioneer Musicologist’, the book is actually the product of a seed sown in Ajilo’s heart as a pupil of the CMS Grammar School between 1943 and 1946. It tells the story of his youth, nurtured on adventure, and his journey through music.

In his tribute to the old music icon, Gbadamosi, who was the chief launcher at the event, described the book as the product of Ajilo’s great effort at writing a “living history”.

“The book is proof that Ajilo didn’t only father his own children; he also fathered his own musical children,” he said.

Ajilo’s escapades as a youth, his early fascination with music, which eventually influenced his choice of career; his experiences as a pioneer music producer, whose contributions helped shape the future of many younger musicians; and personal encounters on the wider national stage, are all encapsulated in the book.

The book was presented alongside a new album, a collection of his old hit songs that kept the Lagos music scene swinging many years ago. The album was produced by Segun Akinlolu, popularly called Beautiful Nubia.

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